There are two ways you can sue an employer for gender discrimination: Under the Equal Pay Act or under Title VII. If you want to sue under Title VII, you first must file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will investigate your complaint and may be able to settle it for you. Only after the EEOC has responded to your complaint can you sue. Under the Equal Pay Act, there is no need to file a complaint with the EEOC.
The EEOC has strict deadlines and regulations that you must follow:
- The complaint has to be filed with the EEOC within 180 days from when the discriminatory act took place. If there is a state or local agency with anti-discrimination authority where you are, the EEOC will not do anything for 60 days in order to let that other agency act.
- The complaint can be filed in person, by phone or by mail.
- In the complaint there must be a description of the discriminatory actions and the dates.
- If the EEOC decides not to take action on your complaint it will issue a right to sue letter, which gives the employee 90 days to sue the employer.
Filing a complaint with the EEOC can be difficult. An experienced discrimination lawyer can help you meet all the requirements the EEOC demands. If the EEOC issues you a right to sue letter, an employment lawyer can help you file a lawsuit against your employer.